Tomlin: 3 things as the offseason hits

Goal never changes: It's a fact. When the 2015 season officially ends after Super Bowl 50, only one team will be happy. The other 31 will share the same sentiment that Coach Mike Tomlin is feeling.

"I'm disappointed," said Tomlin. "That is just an honest answer. I think we all are. I appreciate the support we get from others, the acknowledgement of the fight and all of that. We go into the journey with the understanding that it's going to be difficult, it's going to be a fight, and that a fight is going to be required. We appreciate the support, but at the same time when we said to be World Champions was our goal, we meant it. It's not us this year so there is disappointment associated with that."

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On the rise:** When the Steelers reported to training camp this year, one of the most talked about subjects was the defense. People had concerns about the unit overall, but they were a unit that grew throughout the year, worked together with new pieces in place, and gelled as the season rolled along.

"I thought we were continually a group on the rise and that's what you hope for," said Tomlin. "I expect those guys to play great defense. They've got talent. We're going to work to put them in position to be successful. Not successful enough to reach our hopes and dreams of '15. We laid a good foundation. As we move forward and start this process anew we are better because of the collective experiences that we shared in '15."

Steelers Nation inspires: One thing that was consistent through the entire 2015 season was the support from Steelers Nation, the best fan base in the NFL. Whether it was at home or on the road, they were there and their presence made a difference. "What can I say about Steelers Nation?" said Tomlin. "There are moments where you sit back and think about elements of the journey, some of them seemingly significant, some of them maybe only significant to you, but there were a lot of elements when you think about the support we have from our unique fan base and the level of appreciation we have for it. It was on display in so many instances.

"Who can forget that San Diego trip? It will probably be one of the things I remember most about this past season, the type of support we had from Steelers Nation in San Diego was amazing. And boy didn't we need it? We go the length of the field at the end with Michael Vick, who was our third or fourth quarterback at that point, and to do it in that environment. The presence of Steelers Nation in that environment had a lot to with some of the things we were able to do. Not only that night, but just largely. We don't take it for granted. We appreciate it. It inspires us."

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